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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    158

    Default Cycle Electric Generator failed after 6 months?

    I put a DGV-5000L on my '61 Pan 6 months ago.

    Recently I have been tracking down a parasitic power draw. I disconnected the wire going from the ignition switch to the generator and the draw went away.

    I called Cycle Electric and the guy was super helpful even though I caught him as he was on his way out the door for the day.

    He told me to measure for current draw between the genny post E and the wire itself. I did. I think this confirms that something is fucked inside the genny itself.

    I guess I'll be mailing it back to them so they can warranty it.

    Anybody else experienced this?

    The pictures below show the amp draw is around 1.5 Amps.





  2. #2
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    I've not seen that failure mode on a CE generator/regulator combo but anything electronic can degrade or fail completely. I've used their parts since the 1980s without trouble so I've never seen their warranty response in action. Makes sense since charging systems are a solved problem and quality is a choice.
    Last edited by farmall; 10-29-2022 at 8:57 PM.

  3. #3

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    I believe I put one of their stators in my Sporty a few years back, it's been good ever since.

    Guy I talked to at CE reckoned that a diode had a problem inside the genny on my Pan.

    I boxed it up and mailed the genny to them today. Hope they can resolve it fairly easily and quickly.

  4. #4

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    I had either a Franks or Cycle electric on an old pan I had. What I really liked about it is it had a red diode on the cover that glowed when it was charging/working. You just looked at it when the engine was running and knew the system was charging (like the old dash genny light)

    On my last build, maybe 2-3 years ago, maybe longer, I looked for one with the red diode like I had: Couldnt find one. Wonder if they quit using that option?

  5. #5

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    Oct 2019
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    I have a Franks genny on my 37 UL and knock on wood, it's been solid for several decades now.

    The one for the pan is a Cycle Electric.

    Anyone know if Franks is still around?? Can't find them on the net thus far.

    On Friday I spoke with Nick at Cycle Electric, he said the generator was fine and it must be something else on the bike...... But I told him, the massive 1.5 amp draw I see with a meter, GOES AWAY by disconnecting the generator from the system. It's a chopper so there's no bullshit on it, maybe 6 wires total??

    At any rate, when you disconnect something from the system, and the amp draw goes away, you have isolated that component as the problem......

    Going to try calling them today and see what he says.

  6. #6

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    Good luck: Returning electronics is always a dicey issue with vendors: Hopefully they will come thru

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmel View Post
    Good luck: Returning electronics is always a dicey issue with vendors: Hopefully they will come thru
    Cycle Electric is far and away better than most. If it is an issue with their product, they will take care of it. All their stuff is apparently date coded so they know the product age. They are a great company to deal with.

    From the description of the problem, sounds like a failed diode. That could happen anytime.

    Jim

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    The Electric Frank's regulators are/ were rock-solid. I don't think I have ever seen a bad one. I have an old one on the shelf, and I am confident that it will work when installed. They have been out of business for several decades now. A tickle in my memory says they were a company here in North Carolina, but that could be my mistake.

    Jim

  9. #9
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    I've never had an Electric Franks to de-pot and examine (I've never seen a dead one either) but if someone does it's easy and cheap to source electrical parts. (All HD solid state regulators carry a fat markup to the point of absurdity.) The price difference between marginal and robust parts isn't enough to matter to any but severely greedy manufacturers.

    https://www.geocities.ws/pravgeusau/solidsta.htm is interesting. What I'm not familiar with is how components should be specified for truely gross overkill and how to add additional generator protection.

    It's certainly possible to build regulators that protect the generator or alternator even if shorted to ground. I need to make an EE acquaintance.
    Last edited by farmall; 11-15-2022 at 12:53 AM.

  10. #10

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    May 2015
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    Farmall hit it

    Decades ago I was into electronics. It started with am/radio kit, Radio Shack was big back then in dif types of kits: You got a circuit board, all the resistors, switches, transformers, condensers and diagram, all in one kit. You put all the components on the circuit board, soldered it, and in the end, you had working radio, and at the same time, you learned how to read elctronic schematics and how things worked. Schematics can even tell you the type resistprs, etc, that is needed

    You can also order circuit boards and make them your own circuitry path Easy

    Looking at the site and the regulator diagram, thats about $20 in parts. Encase them in resin, or whatever is used to encapsulate the parts for shock/water proofing, and you have part that MIGHT cost $30

  11. #11

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    Oct 2019
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    Default

    So, I try to always post back with the outcome/resolution since that might help someone else.

    Turns out, it was just a fuckered battery. No harm in sending the genny back to the guys and CE to check it anyways.

    Also, full disclosure, I was not using the correct meter to measure amp draw in the pictures I posted above. The meter pictured measures from 60 amps up to 1000. So, you can see why that wouldn't be the best for this job. I got a meter which measures from miliamps up to 10 amps and got some actual usable readings.

    In all honesty, measuring amp draw with a meter is one of my weak areas. I just do it once a year if that then kinda forget about it. But this whole debacle has definitely helped solidify measuring amp draw in my mind for future use.


    With everything hooked up to the bike, including the genny, there is a power draw of about 52 miliamps. Far as I know, this is a negligible amount of draw and not a problem.

    These parts store batteries, 12v AGM ~$80-$100 only seem to last me a year TOPS. This one made it 8 months........ And these bikes get ridden once a week or once every two weeks at most.

    I considered a lithium battery from AntiGravity, I even bought one. But then I started reading one bad story after another, and another... Decided I didn't want to screw with that. Sent it back and just got another parts store AGM battery for now.

    Antigravity battery said made in China right on the side of it. Also, I know a lot of people put them in a horseshoe oil tank. But the battery itself had a sticker on it stating not to do that as the heat would void the warranty. Fuck that.
    Last edited by CDeeZ; 11-29-2022 at 8:44 PM.

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